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Leave it and lose it

The clocks went back recently, and the extra hour in bed was very welcome! What a pity that then leads to dark evenings, dark mornings and winter! As the darkness can make life so much easier for would-be thieves, motorists are being urged to avoid leaving any valuable items in their cars.

Unfortunately motorists are getting careless again, as the number of reports of vehicles being broken into rises. Sat navs are still a villainís favourite Ė and especially with Christmas just around the corner. The tell tale circle on the windscreen left by the plastic sucker may be enough to have the car broken open. Even a plastic bag on the back seat can be tempting. It may only contain wet swimming trunks, but the villain does not know that when he breaks in.

Cars are now far more hi-tech than ever. However, glass will still break just as easily as 30 years ago, so it only takes seconds to get in and out of a vehicle. Loose change, sunglasses, a forgotten mobile phone, or a nice jacket on the back seat are all an open invitation to the would-be thief. Laptop and notebook/tablet computers are all getting smaller and lighter, and very easy to forget and leave in a car by accident.

Remember, replacing your glass can be an expensive job as insurance excesses have increased over recent years. Your contribution to the cost of a broken window (if this is covered on your insurance policy) could be as much as £100 Ė a lot of money before youíve even started replacing your stolen items.

You may have got a nice new phone as a free upgrade from your provider, however a replacement handset can actually cost several hundred pounds if you donít have it insured, and your contract isnít due for renewal.

Please look after your valuables and take them out of your vehicle whenever possible. Thieves know that handbags are often concealed under the front passenger seat, so donít be surprised that Ďyourí hiding place has been compromised! It is also possible for a thief, given enough time and inclination, to get into the boot of a car. Although using the boot will slow a would-be intruder down, leaving valuables overnight in a vehicle is not ideal.

If you have a works van, which simply isnít practical to empty every night, please consider additional heavy-duty locks, a good alarm system, and security mark your tools so they can be traced if the worst should happen.

Please also be on your guard against those who offer second hand goods in pubs, car boot sales or on internet auction sites. If there is no sales history, paperwork or guarantee, and it all seems too good to be true, then it almost certainly is!

If youíve information about any crime, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111, or log on to www.mostwanted-uk.org You can also follow me on twitter @HantsCrimestopp for regular update

Your call is free, no one will know you called and you may earn a cash reward.

Article posted on: 31 October 2012

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